Tag Archives: whole30 resources

That Time I Bought 1/8 Cow (Who Am I?)

Seriously, Whole30 is making me somewhat unrecognizable (for the better, I think). Prior to this experience I will admit that I had little respect for my food. Okay, that isn’t exactly fair. I’ve always LOVED food and had a respect for how incredibly delicious is it. But I never had true respect and appreciation for where my food comes from, how it’s treated, how it gets to me and how my choices impact the entire food ecosystem. I mean, that’s a lot to think about when you’re hangry and/or just trying to get out of the grocery store for under $200.

When we decided to do Whole30 I knew I was going to have to shake things up because my usual food routines just weren’t going to cut it anymore. Here’s some of the crazy-ish stuff I’ve done since starting Whole30:

  1. Weekly CSA Produce Box: Did you know that CSA stands for Community Sourced Agriculture? You probably did. I definitely didn’t. One fantastic and under-utilized perk at work for me is access to a weekly CSA for fruits and veggies through Hay River Farms. The produce is organic and usually local. Enlightened by my fantastic co-workers, I decided to give it a try to help me stay on top of my produce game for Whole30 and reduce my trips to the grocery store. I was totally surprised when I opened my seemingly basic brown box at work!xsa1

The CSA box is not only fresh and delicious and organic, but its also helped me being way more adventurous with my food. When you pay $37 for produce you’re not going to waste it, even if you don’t know what it is. A sample of what we’ve gotten in CSA (bolded items are new to me): Avocados, strawberries, figs, kale, baby bok choy, cherries, tomatoes, green top carrots, purple chives, plouts, apriums, green zucchini, fennel, spanish onions and nectarines. I have to admit that we let a few things go bad out of fear/ignorance in our first box (fennel and whatever those purple onion things are above) but overall it has been an amazing experience. How cool that it’s all organic? Or that much of it’s coming from farmers in my own state? I’m just obsessed with the idea.

2. Purchasing 1/8 of a cow through a beef CSA: I seriously laugh just thinking about this. When some good friends told us a few years ago that they had 1/2 cow I just about lost my mind. I can’t help but picture someone neatly sawing a cartoon cow in half and one person taking the front and one taking the rear. Seriously, what the hell?

And then I realized that grass-fed beef is really expensive at the grocery store. And the more I started thinking about the quality of the meat I eat, the more sense it made to do this thing. So after some recommendations and a lot of research, we ordered 1/8 of a cow from Grass Fed Cattle Co. If you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s the box of beef I picked up yesterday (this is half our order, so technically 1/16 of a cow):



So far, I would say that I’m obsessed with Grass Fed Cattle Co. I mean, look at the thank you note and the info about our farmer (Farmer Dan)! And they have been a joy to work with. I see more cows in our future.



3. Ordering Paleo cookbooks from Amazon: I’ve pretty much abandoned any sort of physical recipe or cookbook since Pinterest came along. However, the ringing endorsements from both of these books (and my love of Juli Bauer and her PaleOMG blog – seriously, she might be my spirit animal) made me actually order the physical copies. I spent hours going through them, page by seriously gorgeous page, and making the recipes that I must try ASAP when Whole30 is over. I marked almost every single recipe. I’m hoping to post recipe reviews when I start cooking. This is going to be crazy-fun! (sorry for the bad pic, links below)


The next question is: how will I change AFTER Whole30? At this point, I can’t really imagine going back to life as usual before Whole30. So, am I permanently Whole30? No, I don’t think  I could handle that. Am I paleo? Maybe. Am I hybrid of it all? I’m really not sure. I think that reintroduction will be incredibly telling, which starts next Monday.

Hot Links

CSA Finder (MN): Want to be a part of a CSA? Here’s a great resource to find one that fits your needs.

Grass Fed Beef Co: Our beef CSA provider. Highly recommend.

PaleOMG: One of my favorite Paleo blogs, and author of one of the cookbooks I bought.

The Paleo Kitchen: A brand new cookbook by Juli Bauer (PaleOMG) & George Bryant. Every recipe looks amazing and completely realistic. Can’t wait to try it!

Against All Grain: A fairly legendary Paleo cookbook by Danielle Walker- supposedly she has the best recipes for non-grain food that is traditionally grain based (i.e. bread). Recipes look a little more time consuming, but I’m adamant about tackling a few.


How to Have an Awesome Whole30 Weekend (One Week Left!)

I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but after a fun-filled, easily Whole30 compliant weekend I actually feel as though eating Whole30 is becoming second nature. Can I claim that it’s easy? Would that be going to far?

It’s officially Day 23 which means that Tim and I have exactly one week left of Whole30! I feel like I’m barely ready for it to be over. I’m in a groove! Eating is way simpler now, I feel amazing and I’ve pretty much embraced my new lifestyle. Okay, I guess I am ecstatic about the prospect of cheese on my burger and ice cream… lots of ice cream. Dairy reintroduction is day 31, can you tell?

After two very long, very boring weekends we’ve finally discovered the secret sauce to weekendh appiness during Whole30: staying busy + embracing the foods you can eat + rethinking your “normal weekend” = success! Here’s how we finally created a fulfilling Whole30 weekend.

Friday: Date Night Out

Pre Whole30: Usually this would mean dinner and drinks, followed by maybe a second/third cocktail at another location. Generally one of the two stops would be somewhere we haven’t tried before.

Whole30: Dinner and a movie time! Guardians of the Galaxy was a must-see for Tim so we snagged tickets to the theater at West End (thanks Grandma Ann for the giftcard!) and started thinking about a place for dinner. As luck would have it a brand new Whole30 compliant restaurant opened a few weeks ago! The fast-casual restaurant is called Agra Culture. We went to the 50th & France location which is across the street from Pig & Fiddle.

Holy buckets this place was AMAZING. The entire premise is healthy, clean-eating food & pressed juices. I really didn’t know what to expect… fast-casual, is this like Noodles & Co? Sort-of but not really. Yes, we stood in line to order at a register and then found out seats to wait for the food. But I’m sorry, Noodles (big fan), but this was some really great, high-quality food! I could hardly believe it.

Tim and I both got the Agra Plate- by far the easiest  options to make Whole30 compliant. You pick a protein, a sauce and a couple of sides. I seriously couldn’t believe what we ended up with! We each also got a fresh pressed juice 🙂

Elisa: Beet It - red beet, yellow beet, carrot, orange, ginger Tim: Greenie - spinach, ginger, apple, celery, parsley, water

Elisa: Beet It – red beet, yellow beet, carrot, orange, ginger
Tim: Greenie – spinach, ginger, apple, celery, parsley, water

Elisa: Salmon with romesco sauce, harissa yam wedges & spicy broccolini

Elisa: Salmon with romesco sauce, harissa yam wedges & spicy broccolini

Tim: Sesame crusted tuna with chimichurri sauce, potato summer hash & spicy broccolini

Tim: Sesame crusted tuna with chimichurri sauce, potato summer hash & spicy broccolini

Did you expect food that looked like that? Me either. My food definitely rivaled entrees at significantly fancier restaurants. Flavors were big and bold, and it was 100%, no guesswork Whole30 a-okay. They post their entire nutritional details on their website so you know exactly which items have soy, dairy, gluten, sugar, etc. I was so impressed. And yes – they do have beer/wine for those who aren’t currently Whole30-ing. We loved it so much that we are heading back tomorrow night!

As it turns out, going to a movie is a perfect Whole30 activity. If you go after dinner like we did it’s almost impossible to be tempted by the concession stand. And Guardians of the Galaxy was phenomenal! Highly recommend it – and I would check out this sweet article about the woman who basically made the movie happen. Some groundbreaking stuff for women in sci-fi.

Saturday: Summer Activities

I was a little nervous about attending the Premier League soccer match at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. I’m not the biggest soccer fan, and I can’t have snacks or beer due to Whole30? Boo. To my surprise and delight it was a perfect Whole30 activity. The weather was hot, so water was really all we needed. It was a very family-centered event, so I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t drinking a beer (sports + beer = bffs4l). And as it turns out, soccer is really fun when the teams are as amazing as Manchester City & Olympiakos. Win!

Afterwards it was time to attempt another bbq. This was one of our most difficult activities during week one but I’m excited to say that this one was a piece of cake! We brought all of our own food (just in case) but didn’t even need it! Our friends and family were so supportive of our program that we showed up and found a plethora of Whole30 approved food 🙂 Burgers, guacamole, delicious paleo deviled eggs, veggies and the most gorgeous fruit plate. We grabbed soda water w/ limes in place of a cocktail and boom! IThis was by far the easiest Whole30 social event we’ve attended! (Well, turning down the Dairy Queen ice cream cake wasn’t exactly easy.)

Sunday: Relax, Exercise & Cook at Home

What’s better than a relaxing and productive Sunday? We had some family time, grilled some great lunch and dinner and prepped for the week. Whole30 is always easiest when you’re at home, so I just love Sundays.

Since we’re 3/4 done, I think it’s time for a quick health check in:

  • Energy: Amazing. I feel like Superwoman. I’m generally stable throughout the day with no crashes.
  • Sleep: By far the most noticable change for me. I sleep like a rock and feel super rested in the morning.
  • Exercise: While I haven’t been exercising as much as I should, I find that I am performing so much better when I do. I’m even switching to heavier hand weights in my fitness classes!
  • Skin: This feels like a total wash to me. Most people report amazing skin changes but I’m not ready to claim that yet.
  • Weight: I have definitely, 100% lost a good amount of weight. I’ve stayed true to no scales but I’m guessing its over 5 pounds- and definitely all fat. I’m wearing clothes that made me too self conscious to even consider 3 weeks ago.
  • Mood: Pretty good! I do find myself happier more consistently than I did in the beginning of the program. And while I do still get annoyed when I’m hungry it’s less of a “hangry” situation like it used to be.
  • Teeth: Seriously, my oral health has improved. Flossing is easier and I can feel that my teeth have less plaque build up in between brushes. What a surprising but pleasant effect!
  • Overall: It’s hard to describe, but my body just feels CLEAN inside. I know that’s weird but I don’t know how else to put it. It’s like everything is working together in perfect harmony. Does that make any sense? I don’t know, but it feels incredible. This must be the “tiger blood” that Whole30 talks about!


Agra Culture: My new favorite restaurant in MN!

Whole30 Timeline: Learn about tiger blood here 🙂

Meet the Woman Who Made History with Guardians of the Galaxy: Nicole Perlman is one badass lady.

Where’s the Food?! (Pt 2)

Just a note… I’m not being paid to promote any of these products. Yes, these are honest reviews and recommendations. I just straight-up enjoy them.

During week one of my Whole30 I wrote this post about my favorite new Whole30 foods. Now that we’re kicking off week 4 (woohoo!) here are some additional can’t-live-without Whole30 finds.

Best prepared protein: Bilinski’s Chicken Sausages

Near the end of week one Tim and I both realized we were really missing sausage. There’s something about meat with the flavor turned up that leaves a void when you go without it. Initially I thought sausage was a no-go item, but after some additional research I learned that organic, natural, etc. were okay as long as the ingredient list checks out. Luckily there are some brands of sausage that don’t overprocess, use pork casings, or add extra ingredients. Cue these babies!

How I’m using it: Just heating and eating plain as my primary protein. These are SO flavorful that I don’t even miss condiments. I also plan to bring these to any grill-outs I attend during Whole30.

Where to find it: According to the Bilinski’s website the only retailer in the Minneapolis area that carries their products is Kowalski’s.

Favorite pre-Whole 30 carryover item: Applegate meats

I’ve been an Applegate fan ever since Target started carrying the brand sometime last year (don’t quote me on that timing, coworkers). Once I learned about the horrors of regular deli meat I knew I would never go back. Applegate is a little pricey, but I’ve always felt it’s worth it. In addition to their lunch meats, they sell one of the only nitrate-free bacons on the market.


How I’m using it: Pretty self-explanatory. Just as you would other bacon or lunch meats 🙂

Where to find it: My Applegate products are coming from Super Target. In the Minneapolis area their products can also be found in Lunds, Byerlys, and most co-ops.

Best mocktail: Soda Water w/ lemon and lime

Super unique and inventive, I know. But really I hadn’t realized just how good this is! And yes, there’s a ton of debate between sparkling water/seltzer/club soda. But we’ve been using Club Soda because that’s what I can find. I’m not sorry if this isn’t 100% compliant.

How I’m using it: As a straight-up substitute for alcohol. This is awesome in a low-ball glass with two ice cubes and a couple slices of citrus. I anticipate that I will have this often post-Whole30  in lieu of alcohol.

Where to find it: You can find it everywhere. But interesting to note… it’s been hard for me to find seltzer, which is technically more compliant.

Coolest Fruit That Looks Like a Monster: Figs

I had never eaten a raw fig prior to starting Whole30 and getting my first CSA produce box. I’d had figs in things and I’d heard rumblings about them being crazy-delicious. But no one told me that they look like aliens!

How I’m using it: I’ve just eaten them straight-up so far. Supposedly I should be wrapping them with prosciutto, but that stuff is crazy expensive.

Where to find it: I can’t find them at my local grocery store,  but I’m sure they’re available at upscale grocers for a premium. Mine come in my CSA box.

Can’t Live Without It: Three Way Tie for Eggs, Avocados and Sweet Potatoes

I swear these three foods at the key to Whole30 survival. When in doubt put an egg on it, an avocado in it, or throw it on top of a sweet potato/yam. My favorite days are when I eat all three of these items together. Yum.

Sweet potato 1 298x300 Sweet potato, corn, and cheese muffins

How I’m using eggs: Hard-boiling for salads or snacks, fried on top of hash or veggies, scrambled for a quick weekday breakfast.

How I’m using avocado: Any way I can. On top of eggs, salads or any random dish. As a serving vessel for shrimp. On their own because yum. Mashed and mixed in with broccoli slaw… the possibilities are endless.

How I’m using sweet potatoes: As the main veggie (baked or microwaved) with protein thrown on top. We’ve also made a mean breakfast hash with them. We’ve diced them to add to curry as well. Seriously… these are perfect for any occasion.



Whole30 Bacon Manifesto – Information on why regular bacon should be avoided, and why bacon is approved but not a free-for-all.

Staying Strong (What It’s Like to Almost Quit a Whole30)

First time here? Start with this post to get caught up on what Whole30 is and why I’m blogging about it.

Almost Quitting Whole30 on Day Nine: A Timeline

6:00am – Alarms goes off. Even though you’ve been sleeping great and bolting out of bed every morning, today is not one of those days. SNOOZE ME!

6:30am – Okay fine, you’ll get up. You wonder what’s for breakfast. You hear your partner cooking and wistfully pray for pancakes. (Sidebar: You don’t even really LIKE pancakes.)

6:35am – Scrambled eggs with greens? What is this shit? Sure, it was fine on day four but today you’re convinced no humans should be eating chard first thing in the morning. Or ever. And why does this coffee taste like pee? Can you just get some damn creamer already? Or better yet, a hazelnut latte?

8:15am – You finally roll into work and immediately realize you forgot to bring the delicious lunch you spent 25 minutes packing last night. You try not to lose your cool. There’s got to be something at the work caf you can eat.

9:45am – How is it not lunch time yet?! I have to wait another two hours before I can eat again?

11:20am – Close enough- you head down to the cafeteria because you actually feel a little shaky. You walk up to the grill station and order a salmon filet, no bun. The cook asks if you want teriyaki on that. You do- oh god you really do- but you say no thanks.

11:25am – Waiting has made you crabby because you’ve been staring at all the food you can’t eat while trying to keep yourself from falling over. This must be what withdrawal feels like. You make your way over to the salad bar like the good Whole30-er you are. Spinach, bell pepper, hard-boiled egg, chives, carrots, radishes… you load on up. You skip your used-to-be-favorite avocado cream dressing and splash on some balsamic & olive oil instead. You also ignore the case of breadsticks and cornbread muffins, even though there’s a jalapenio one today that you really enjoy. You pay almost $10 for your stupid huge salad and practically sprint back upstairs to eat before you make a regrettable decision.

11:30am-noon – You eat your salad, hating every single moment of it. It tastes like nothing. Plain, unseasoned salmon might as well just be heavy air. “Just. eat. the. damn. salad.” you say to yourself repeatedly. You do, all while unfairly hating your coworkers who are eating their dreamy, grain-filled lunches around you. You know you’re being unreasonable but you can’t seem to control it.

2:00pm – You realize you forgot to incorporate fat at lunch and now you are HANGRY. You make a quick trip to Target for some emergency reinforcements to keep at work: coconut Lara bars, macadamia nuts, a package of blueberries and some Applegate lunch meat. You seriously consider that bag of Pirate’s Booty, but eventually escape unscathed.

2:10pm – Sorry, no snacking rule. It’s either these blueberries or you’re going to go buy the biggest chocolate cupcake you can find. You eat a handful without any guilt and think you’ll be fine.

 4:15pm – On the bus home you’re a big ol’ hormonal (or something) mess. All you can think about is making a plate of pasta. Ordering a pizza. Finding some crusty bread. Chipotle with rice, and not even the brown kind. Oooooh maybe some goat cheese! Brie and crackers? Did someone say brownie? No, must resist.

5:30pm – Your partner asks what you want for dinner. You try not to break down into tears because YOU JUST WANT TO QUIT. Nothing sounds good. You can’t really remember why you’re doing this anymore. You’ve lived this long on all the foods you love and you’re still alive! Why bother?

5:40pm – Your partner tells you to go sit down and watch an episode of Friends or something. anything, to get you to CTFO. He’ll take care of dinner tonight- just get out of the damn kitchen. You’re grateful and secretly hope that “cooking” is code for “ordering pizza”. (Spoiler alert: it isn’t.)

6:15pm – Your partner presents you with one of the most delicious Whole30 dinners ever, and you’re so grateful that you aren’t doing this alone. You thoroughly enjoy dinner and naively think the worst is over.

8:00pm – You’re midway through an intense scene in The Americans but you can’t focus. If you don’t eat something sweet immediately you just might die. You’d prefer some of the gelato that’s still hidden in a Target bag in the back of your freezer, but even a little square of Dove chocolate will do. But you know most cravings only last 3-5 minutes, so you can get through this one.

8:25pm – Are you crazy, or has this craving gotten STRONGER? This is it, you’re going to break. As soon as your partner gets up to go to the bathroom you’re going to bolt out the door and make for the nearest Dairy Queen. What’s the biggest size Blizzards they’re making these days? Maybe you should also get one of those individual ice cream cakes. Oh yeah. It’s happening.

8:35pm – You seriously consider making your exit. Instead you wander to the kitchen, open the fridge and stare- an old snacking habit. You have an epiphany. You grab the tub of almond butter along with a handful of strawberries and blueberries. All three go in a little dish and get stirred together.

8:40pm – You’re back on the couch. Sure, you have a snack (technically illegal) but YOU DIDN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE! You didn’t open the contraband freezer bag! Sure, you’re snacking and technically this fruit is feeding your sugar addiction… but you have defeated the quitting urge! And actually, this snack is freaking delicious. Partner decides he must have some as well. You contemplate making a second for yourself but are able to resist.

9:15pm – You decide you should get in bed before your Sugar Dragon rears her ugly head again. The thought of a Whole30 breakfast the next morning makes you gag, but for tonight you’re done thinking about it.

9:20pm – You lay in bed and mentally give yourself a little pat on the back. You made it. You didn’t quit. And if you can make it through today, you can make it through tomorrow. Day by day, young grasshopper. Day by day.

Whole30-Saving Links

Do you REALLY want to quit? – Imperative info about days 10-11 from the Whole30 team

 Support resources – Whole30 advice and places to turn on the hard days

Haters Gonna Hate (Whole30 Criticisms)

New? Check out this post to get caught up on what Whole30 is and why I’m blogging about it.

I get it. The Whole30 seems kind of crazy. It feels extreme, it looks very limiting, and it just doesn’t make a ton of sense from the outside. I’m here to tell you that I know exactly what you’re thinking. No, I’m not blindly following Whole30 and drinking the Kool Aid (because I can’t have any damn Kool Aid) without giving it any critical thought.

Tim and I have been incredibly lucky that our family, friends and coworkers have been supportive (and even cheerleaders) of our Whole30 experiment. But its not like that for everyone. I’ve been doing my research and compiled some of the main arguments against Whole30/Paleo/Whole9 along with my responses. These are my personal opinions and thoughts- all of which are subject to change as I move through the program.

1) Whole30 is a fad diet, just like Adkins or Southbeach or any other number of weight loss programs. It’s just a moneymaker for the owners.

I understand where this comes from. There’s been a lot of press lately about Whole30 as the “new hot diet trend” sweeping Hollywood, Instagram, etc (here’s one of the articles). To me, this comes from journalists who aren’t doing their research. If you spend any time at all on the Whole30 website or with It Starts With Food, you’ll immediately see that weight loss is not, and should not be, the main motivation for doing the Whole30. Yes, most people who do Whole30 lose some weight. But there’s no scales, no counting calories (I’m looking at you, MyFitnessPal) and no huge weight loss promises. I’m not buying Whole30 brand foods, endorsed products, supplements, attending hosted meetings or paying per pound I lose. The Whole30 program is totally free – you don’t have to buy It Starts With Food to do it. Yes, blog traffic probably equals money for Dallas and Melissa… but we all have to make a living somehow. It’s about giving yourself a nutritional reset, not melting fat. (But how could it be a surprise to ANYONE that eating healthy food= weight loss?)

2) The idea of basing your diet on what cavemen did is ridiculous. We’ve evolved since then and our bodies are able to handle modern foods. What, should I not use a cell phone because the cavemen didn’t use them either?

This is my favorite argument – because I used to say it ALL THE TIME. I’m a total hypocrite -I think I even said this just weeks before starting Whole30. This was my mantra every time someone even whispered the word Paleo in conversation. Turns out, I was just really, really ignorant. (Also, Whole30 is slightly different/more hardcore than Paleo, but let’s roll with this.) In my opinion, Paleo could use a new mascot. No one is saying that we should do as the caveman did, not really. The very best way I’ve seen to describe Paleo can be found on Nom Nom Paleo, in her post called Paleo 101. I highly encourage you to take a peek. She even has it in a cute little cartoon form. This should clear up all that caveman confusion.

3) Our bodies need the nutrients from legumes, dairy and grains. You’re not getting adequate nutrition.

To this I say… read the book! There’s a lot of science behind this topic that’s incredibly enlightening. In short: while these foods are sources for nutrients like protein, fiber and calcium, there are other ways to get these nutrients. And in reality, the human body is really bad at extracting nutrients from the previously mentioned types of food. It’s much more efficient and lower risk to stick to veggies, fruits, healthy fats and meat/eggs.

4) You’re starving yourself. There’s no way this is sustainable.

First off, if you’re starving yourself then you aren’t doing it right. There is really no limit to how much food you can consume on Whole30 but rather which foods you can consume. If you’re constantly hungry you need to adjust your meals. This has happened to me a time or two and I’ve learned that I need to eat more than I initially thought I did. I’m also eating high calorie fats with my veggie/protein intake such as avocado, nut butters, nuts and oils. And if I work out I eat five times per day instead of three. No one here is starving- not one bit.

To the second point: Whole30 isn’t MEANT to be sustainable. It’s a 30 day reset. A “cleanse”, if you must. When Whole30 is done you start to look toward your future and consider how to use these principles and learnings to find your optimal lifestyle. I don’t know what mine will be yet, but I do know I won’t be living 100% Whole30 forever.

5) This entire program is made up! The rules are arbitrary! (See main blog image that’s been blowing up on Twitter lately)

True! And the Whole30 program is totally transparent about this. There are some “yes” and “no” foods that make no sense and seem inconsistent. Such as: yes to white potatoes and no to corn (aren’t they both whole foods that are starch?!), no alcohol even in cooking, sugar from fruit is okay even thought other sweeteners are not, etc. Weirdly… this doesn’t bother me. Nothing in the world is entirely black and white, but you have to make some calls and draw lines somewhere. There’s a million foods and a million arguments for whether things should be included or shouldn’t be. To me, the important is how these pieces come together to make a whole. So while I don’t agree on every tiny detail of this program, I do believe in the overall idea. Whole foods = better health. It’s hard for me to find issue in that statement. And that’s really what it’s all about.

There’s a million additional arguments and issues floating around out there as regards to the Whole30 or the idea of “elimination diets”. But here’s what it boils down to, in my opinion:

  • It’s easy to attack something you don’t understand.
  • It’s convenient to attack something that you don’t like, or that intimidates you.
  • It’s easier to dismiss something than it is to actually try it.

And most importantly….


Click Me

Paleo 101 – Everything you need to know! In cartoon form!

Days Four/Five (And Whole30 Eating at Chipotle)

PAUSE. Big announcement today: the Whole30 now allows ALL types of potatoes! This is huge! Details are on the Whole30 website. Okay, whew. Deep breaths.

I’m already getting bored of cataloging all my meals everyday, so from now on I’ll only highlight the ones that were especially good/share-worthy, unique, or somehow led to a critical learning.

Day four was a lot like day three with the exception that I didn’t want to kill everyone who crossed my path. Personally, I consider that a vast improvement. Overall it was a simple, “run of the mill” day. For Meal Three Tim grilled us up a flank steak along with some baby bok choy, green beans and pistachios. I started to feel a little fancy at this point- we never cook this well for ourselves on a random Wednesday. I’d never had bok choy before which is apparently one of the best vegetables you can eat due to it’s unique make up of compounds that are proven to reduce cancer risk. Great!

M3 7/16/14

Day 5 gets slightly more interesting because it’s the first time I’ve “dined out” since starting this whole thing.

I’ve read on many a Whole30 blog that Chipotle is a great option for dining out. Today I had a lunch-included work offsite, but the provided food was pizza. To keep myself from indulging in the very illegal, very temping pizza I decided to get myself an equally delicious, Whole30-approved lunch of my own from Chipotle.

Now, here’s the deal. A lot of these blogs are talking about how compliant Chipotle is based on the descriptions of the meat and veggies on the website. However, the majority of Chipotle’s ingredients aren’t actually compliant- surprise! IIf you go one level deeper on the  Chipotle website you can actually read the ingredient statement which details exactly what goes in to every meat, salsa, etc. Many blogs have Whole30ers ordering onions & peppers, steak, chicken, barbacoa… but these items are NOT Whole30 compliant because they are cooked with rice bran oil. Rice bran oil is obviously made from rice and bran, and rice/brand = grains and grains = NOPE. Boo 😦

Here’s what you CAN order at Chipotle during Whole30:

-Salad lettuce (no dressing!)
-Carnitas (I ordered double meat)
-Salsa- Tomatillo Green Chili
-Salsa- Tomatillo Red Chili
-Tomato salsa
….that’s all, folks.

Don't panic - that's a fresh yellow pepper that I cut up myself and threw on top.

Don’t panic – that’s a fresh yellow pepper that I cut up myself and threw on top.

If we’re being completely honest, part of me was a disappointed that I clicked into the detailed ingredient link. I LOVE the peppers/onions on my Chipotle and based on the regular website I would have been in ignorant bliss consuming them this afternoon. But I want to do this right to the very best of my ability. If I choose to eat out over the next 25 days there will be a situation where no matter how many times I check ingredients or ask questions, something unapproved could easily sneak in without my knowledge. There’s no reason to PURPOSELY feign ignorance. I would only be cheating on myself, which wouldn’t be very nice of me to me. Le sigh.

Energy Level: Relatively high and stable all day
Mood: Great! I am definitely becoming much more pleasant.
Physical Changes: This is starting to get interesting. I have been sleeping like a ROCK. This is unusual- I have never, even as a kid, been a good sleeper. I usually wake up at least a handful of times but this has not been the case since Tuesday night. Additionally, I feel less “puffy”. I’m fairly certain that I’ve lost a bit of water weight. It’s cool to see some physical effects taking place.


 Chipotle’s ingredient statement – Some of this may surprise you.

The Official Whole30 “Can I Have” Answers –  No, you cannot have rice bran oil, which is used in the majority of Chipotle’s food items.


Where’s the Food?! (Part 1)

I had a very important Whole30 epiphany this morning as I woke up thinking about melty contraband cheese:  there are essentially two ways to look at Whole30 eating.

Option 1: I can’t eat ANYTHING. Where is the damn food?!
Option 2: Look at all this brand-new-to-me food! I get to try eating all this weird stuff!

Survival depends on choosing option two.

Some of these foods have just entered my universe with the start of the program. Others are items I frankly thought would be boring or gross… but by necessity (and curiosity) I’m now frequently finding them on my plate. Here’s a roundup of some Week One discoveries:

Most surprising(and most versatile): Ghee

My initial thoughts were “Wtf is GHEE? How do I even pronounce that? Why is this butter shelf-stable? This looks disgusting.” In reality… ghee is great! It’s pretty much like butter with all of the dairy remnants (not an official description) taken out. Another term is clarified butter, but I have to admit I haven’t bothered figuring out the difference.


How I’m using it: Sauteing, mainly. Ghee is  ideal for when you want that butter flavor. My favorite use so far was my Day 3/Meal 3 sauteed shrimp as a garlic butter sauce. A few tablespoons of ghee + 3 gloves garlic + juice of one lemon = me licking my plate. I’m planning going to put that shit on everything.

Where to Find It: By the Indian/Asian foods. I couldn’t find it at Super Target, so I went to Lakewinds and picked some up there. Most coops should have it. Also available on Amazon.

 The little nut that could: Macadamias

I would tell you my previous thoughts on macadamias, but I never had any. I literally forgot they existed. Couldn’t have picked them out of a nut lineup. But they are one of the few “best” eating fats and holy crap are they delicious!


How I’m using it: Great on salads but even better all on their own. These little guys are deceptively amazing.

Where to find it: I got these at Super Target and was thrilled to see they didn’t include any added oils, sugar etc. I hear Trader Joe’s is the place to go for larger bags at a decent price.

Most borderline-acceptable item: La Croix

From what I’ve seen, this item is a hot topic for debate on whether or not it’s Whole30 compliant. Whole30 has a whole “sex with your pants on” (SWYPO) food metaphor and many people think La Croix fits into that bucket. I say a big ol’ SCREW IT. I gave up pop almost two years ago – I’m not using LC as a diet coke habit stand-in. The ingredient list check out so it’s staying.


How I’m using it: To keep my sanity when I just can’t drink another glass of plain water. I also plan to use as an alcohol stand-in at a birthday party this weekend. So far I’ve only tried coconut but plan to get a few others this week to keep it interesting.

Where to find it: Again, mine’s from Super Target but you can get this anywhere.

Best long-term potential: Almond Butter

I’m tardy to the almond butter party. I was too busy getting my peanut butter groove on. I have always loved peanut butter. My family loves peanut butter. Crunchy peanut but makes me think of my dad, without fair. He taught my sister and me that there’s nothing better than being the first to dig into a jar of peanut butter; that smooth surface reserved just for you. One of his favorite breakfast foods is perfectly brown toast with peanut butter dunked in a tall glass of milk, and drinking the milk with all the little floaty bread bits (don’t pretend you don’t like it). So clearly, I’m emotionally invested in peanut butter so I never gave almond butter a shot. Until Whole30.

Almond butter is so similar to peanut butter! I was shocked. The taste is very close, but it isn’t quite as thick.

almondbutterHow I’m using it: Primarily as a dip for sliced veggies. I’ve also been known to eat a spoonful straight up.

Where to get it: I’ve only tried the Target Simply Balanced brand. I like it a lot but plan to try another brand when I run out for comparison.

A huge benefit of this program has been the exposure to foods that sit outside my comfort zone. I have a few others in the pantry that I’ll experiment with and discuss next week!

Helpful Links

SWYPO Theory – from Whole30. Explains when and how to make Whole30-compliant versions of your favorite foods.


Somewhat-Necessary Disclaimer: Yes, I work for Target. No, that has nothing to do with my food choices or my decision to write about Target products. My blog is in no way affiliated with my employer. But I do like to use my employee discount, RedCard & Cartwheel so that Whole30 doesn’t make me go broke.